I want to share a post that a good friend and expert hypnotherapist, Dan Cleary, once sent to an email group. This excerpt is specifically addressing someone’s question about treating ADHD. It illustrates how a belief in a poor concept or poor interpretation of circumstances, or of yourself, can cause you to think you are disabled. Dan explains that the ADHD diagnosis may be an unhelpful interpretation of the person’s behavior that blocks the appreciation of helpful possibilities. He then shares a procedure that can help such a person connect with abilities they may be under-utilizing because they have never been taught to appreciate them.
The process Dan shares has applications beyond ADHD to skillfully help yourself or another expand capabilities that may be limited just because you are being “hypnotized” by a poor interpretation. I added numbers to the steps in Dan’s explanation and, in some places, modified his language to highlight the process.
Dan: “What if you were to consider that ADD & ADHD were mistaken evaluations of skills and abilities?
According to the studies I have read (they tend to find faults, where I find strengths ) people diagnosed with these “conditions” are mostly above average intelligence, and very skilled in certain areas (often physical skills, such as sports, but some are good at conceptual ways of thinking as well).”
Imagine that you were to ask the client what their favorite activities are and then get them to notice how they are relating to their body and their mind when engaged in the activity and how they feel when doing that activity.
1) In the case that the activity is a physical one, ask them to stand up.
2) Then anchor the strong good feelings and self-appreciation that they experience at that time (use their words and ask them questions to elicit as many expressions of their skills in that area as possible.) Anchor this state with a physical anchor such as pressing their thumb and forefinger together — their choice of hand.
3) Then have them shake like a dog getting out of the water and
4) Ask them to go to that place where IN THE PAST they have felt or BEEN TOLD that they have WHAT HAS BEEN CALLED ADHD.
5) While in that memory, create anchors associated with this “negative” state, (usually criticism from others, lack of confidence or understanding). The anchor can be just pressing the fingers of the other hand together.
6) Then, with their hands held out like cups in fromt of them, put all the feelings of one state in one hand and all those of the other state in the other hand.They get to pick which hand holds the positive feelings and which the negative.
7) Merge the anchors by having them clasp their hands together tightly and speak about the strengths they have in one hand, and what is in that other hand? And the tighter they clasp their hands, the more the hands become as one as the strengths flow everywhere.
8) Ask how quickly they can feel the strengths flowing from the areas where they are most effective to the areas that can use those strengths in new ways. Feel the flow until you can search and find that same strength wherever you look or feel. Somehow you simply know that every cell has access to the strength whenever you need it.
That’s it! Thanks, Dan! The secret is to find an ability you have, but don’t think to use in the blocked circumstances. Now that you recognize you can use it, connect it to those circumstances by the piece of theater called merging anchors — here done with clasping of hands in the above steps. Learn more about this powerful change technique and many others in my book Finding True Magic. Take one of my trainings and master them!
Jack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Finding True Magic now available as an eBook!
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